13 May 2019

Back to London for a Conference

The Family Tree Live conference at the Alexandra Palace, locally known as Ally Pally, was held from April 26 to April 27, 2019.

This location was in the northwest suburb Wood Green, about an hour and half tube ride from Heathrow. Due to it being the first year for this organization to hold a conference and the location, I was not greatly surprised that the attendance was not near the numbers we experienced at the Olympia Center in London several years ago.  However, Family Tree DNA had a stand and ran a presentation area for many speakers, mostly from some place in the United Kingdom.  MyHeritage and 23andMe were present, but AncestryDNA was not.

I was asked to go the last minute to take the place of someone who could not help at the Family Tree DNA stand.  Katherine Borges and I were the only Americans to came on this trip.  But as usual, we took extra time to explore some of England’s treasures.  This year we traveled to Portsmouth to see the Mary Rose Museum and the HMS Victory.  Maurice Gleeson and John Cleary joined us.

The Mary Rose was King Henry VIII’s flagship.  It sank 19 July 1545, but was raised in 1982.  She was built in Portsmouth between 1509 and 1511.

The HMS Victory was launched in 1765, and was under Lord Nelson’s command at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.  Interestingly, Nelson was shot in the battle and died on board.  He explicitly asked that his body not be sent into the sea.  We were told when visiting the ship that his body was put into one of the casks and preserved with liquor.  It then returned to England.

AND, now for some of our antics on the HMS Victory!

 Maurice hitting the ceiling             

Maurice and Emily listening to the tour recording and on an even smaller deck.  Are we really acting like decrepit tourists?                                                           

Of course, we had to have a shot of all four of us, and Horatio was the key!

Then after we dropped John off at the train station, we had dinner in Guilford and visited the castle grounds there.  Very beautiful.

It was a grand day out!  Thank you Maurice for driving, and John for joining us!

The highlight of the conference for me was meeting a cousin, Brian Dowling, who matches via Y-DNA to my first cousin Doug Doolin.  It was very kind of him to come to the FamilyTree DNA stand to meet me. Thank you, Brian!

SO, don't you wish you would have come with us?

Best wishes,
Emily Doolin Aulicino

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